In loving memory of Sarah Burke
January 19th, 2012
Sarah Burke was a fighter
I believe that is how she would have wanted to be remembered; she would not want to be remembered simply by a list (although it would be a very long one) of contest wins, groundbreaking halfpipe tricks and "firsts" by a woman. Those are details. Sarah's life was about the bigger moments, about so much more than being the best woman in the sport of freeskiing.
For Sarah, success was about others as much as it was about herself. It was about fighting to make sure other women had the opportunity to compete against her, to one day break her records and compete on the same level as men. Since she buckled into her first pair of plastic boots at the age of 5, Burke was a skier by trade but a fighter by nature.
Sarah Burke, a pioneer in women's freeskiing, died Thursday from crash-related injuries. She began her ski career by competing in moguls around her hometown of Midland, Ontario. But her love of tricks, her love of flying and spinning and attempting things no one else seemed daring enough to attempt, drew her to the halfpipe and slopestyle scene.
Sarah was an icon not only for Roxy but also for freeskiing. I can honestly say she was the best in her field but that wasn't what defined her. More importantly, she was known for the love she inspired in others. She was well-loved but she loved in return. Sarah was a giver and that's the legacy she left behind.
Bob McKnight, CEO Quiksilver
"Sarah taught me my first 540. She is the reason I quit ski racing and gave me the inspiration to do what I do today. She was my role model and mentor. My best days on snow were skiing with Sarah. One of the funniest memories I have is when we use to blast our music through our headphones and just belt out singing, no matter if we knew who was sitting next to us on the chair or not. We just acted like us."
Grete Eliassen, Professional Freeskier
Sarah was an amazing person. She was love and light. She inspired a smile on your face every time she entered a room and it's that feeling of happiness that I remember most about Sarah."
Randy Hild, former EVP Marketing, Roxy
"Sarah was a wise old soul. She possessed an ease and self-confidence that most people take a lifetime to arrive at. But when she was on her skis she was a force, and for that I'm forever grateful. Because of what Sarah accomplished, I - and women and girls everywhere know that the perceived glass ceiling on a woman's physical limits can be shattered. We can believe in ourselves a little more and push past our abilities because Sarah showed us it was possible."
Amber Stackhouse, Roxy Snow Team & Marketing Manager